Dr. Eng Lim Goh
Senior VP and CTO
Dr. Eng Lim Goh, senior VP and CTO of SGI, joined SGI in 1989, becoming a chief engineer in 1998 and then chief technology officer in 2001. This year he stepped forward on behalf of the industry to deliver the first HPC Matters plenary at SC14, designed to drive broader engagement and demonstrate the impact that high performance computing has on all of us – even those who have never heard of HPC.
At SGI, Dr. Goh oversees technical computing programs with the goal to develop the next generation computer architecture for the many-core era. His current research interest is in the emerging need for in situ or integrated visualization of big data.
HPCwire: Hi Dr. Goh, Congratulations on being selected as an HPCwire 2015 Person to Watch. Anyone who follows the HPC space for any amount of time knows what a visionary you are. What can you tell us about the important things that you’ll be working on for 2014?
As a team we’ll be focused on three areas for HPC: usability, efficiency and resiliency. Let’s elaborate on usability with an example. With core count increasing, in a supercomputer, there is a question as to whether we need a custom lighter-weight kernel even if it means trading off usability.
A standard off-the-shelf Linux distribution has powerful usability advantages of:
– broad applications availability; and,
– community effort which advances capabilities such as live kernel patching and thread migration etc.
This approach is where we believe supercomputing funding will lead us to.
HPCwire: Obviously, HPC is constantly in motion, with new developments happening all the time. Can you give us your view of the HPC space as it is, and the direction you see it going in the next 5 to 10 years?
In the longer term, we need to pay attention to societal changes. There are societies today where trash is sorted and not just dumped. Ten years from now, societies may evolve to frown on dumping 10 MegaWatts of heat directly into the environment.
HPCwire: Obviously Big Data and Cloud are exciting over-arching trends that are capturing a lot of attention these last few years. What are the most exciting micro-trends that fall under these umbrellas that you think will matter in 2015, and why do they matter?
The wider use of new devices that fill the big and growing latency gaps between CPU caches & DIMM/DRAM memory and between the latter and spinning hard disk drives.
HPCwire: What can you share about yourself that you can share that you think your colleagues would be surprised to learn?
One of my first jobs was as a Junior Field Engineer logging for oil on rigs in the North Sea.